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What Is Organizational Culture?

Organizational Culture
A common perception held by the organizations members; a system of shared meaning.

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Characteristics
Innovation and risk taking The degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and take risk. Attention in detailThe degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis, and attention in detail. Outcome orientation: The degree to which management focus on the techniques and processes used to achieve them. People orientation The degree to which management decision take into consideration the effect of outcomes on people within organization.

2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved.

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Characteristics:

Team orientation.
The degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individual.

Aggressiveness:
The degree to which people are aggressive and competitive rather than easygoing.

Stability
The degree to which organizational activities emphasizes maintaining the status quo in contrast to growth.

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Contrasting Organizational Cultures


Organization A This organization is a manufacturing firm. Managers are expected to fully document all decisions; and good managers are those who can provide detailed data to support their recommendations. Creative decisions that incur significant change or risk are not encouraged. Because managers of failed projects are openly criticized and penalized, managers try not to implement ideas that deviate much from the status quo. One lower-level manager quoted an often used phrase in the company: If it aint broke, dont fix it.

There are extensive rules and regulations in this firm that employees are required to follow. Managers supervise employees closely to ensure there are no deviations. Management is concerned with high productivity, regardless of the impact on employee morale or turnover.
Work activities are designed around individuals. There are distinct departments and lines of authority, and employees are expected to minimize formal contact with other employees outside their functional area or line of command. Performance evaluations and rewards emphasize individual effort, although seniority tends to be the primary factor in the determination of pay raises and promotions.
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Contrasting Organizational Cultures (contd)


Organization B This organization is also a manufacturing firm. Here, however, management encourages and rewards risk taking and change. Decisions based on intuition are valued as much as those that are well rationalized. Management prides itself on its history of experimenting with new technologies and its success in regularly introducing innovation products. Managers or employees who have a good idea are encouraged to run with it. And failures are treated as learning experiences. The company prides itself on being market-driven and rapidly responsive to the changing needs of its customers. There are few rules and regulations for employees to follow, and supervision is loose because management believes that its employees are hardworking and trustworthy. Management is concerned with high productivity, but believes that this comes through treating its people right. The company is proud of its reputation as being a good place to work. Job activities are designed around work teams, and team members are encouraged to interact with people across functions and authority levels. Employees talk positively about the competition between teams. Individuals and teams have goals, and bonuses are based on achievement of these outcomes. Employees are given considerable autonomy in choosing the means by which the goals are attained.
E X H I B I T 161 (contd) 2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved. 164

Do Organizations Have Uniform Cultures?


Dominant Culture Expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organizations members.

Subcultures Minicultures within an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical separation.
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Do Organizations Have Uniform Cultures? (contd)


Core Values The primary or dominant values that are accepted throughout the organization.

Strong Culture A culture in which the core values are intensely held and widely shared.

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What Do Cultures Do?


Cultures Functions:
1. Defines the boundary between one organization and others. 2. Conveys a sense of identity for its members. 3. Facilitates the generation of commitment to something larger than self-interest. 4. Enhances the stability of the social system. 5. Serves as a sense-making and control mechanism for fitting employees in the organization.

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What Do Cultures Do?

Culture as a Liability:
1. Barrier to change. 2. Barrier to diversity

3. Barrier to acquisitions and mergers

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How Culture Begins


Founders hire and keep only employees who think and feel the same way they do. Founders indoctrinate and socialize these employees to their way of thinking and feeling. The founders own behavior acts as a role model that encourages employees to identify with them and thereby internalize their beliefs, values, and assumptions.

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Keeping Culture Alive


Selection
Concern with how well the candidates will fit into the organization. Provides information to candidates about the organization.

Top Management
Senior executives help establish behavioral norms that are adopted by the organization.

Socialization
The process that helps new employees adapt to the organizations culture.

2005 Prentice Hall Inc. All rights reserved.

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How Organization Cultures Form

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How Employees Learn Culture


Stories

Rituals
Material Symbols Language

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How Employees Learn Culture


Stories
Anchor the present into the past and provide explanations and legitimacy for current practices

Rituals
Repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization

Material Symbols
Acceptable attire, office size, opulence of the office furnishings, and executive perks that convey to employees who is important in the organization

Language
Jargon and special ways of expressing ones self to indicate membership in the organization
Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall 16-13

Creating a Positive Organizational Culture


Positive Organizational Culture
A culture that:
Builds on employee strengths Focus is on discovering, sharing, and building on the strengths of individual employees Rewards more than it punishes Articulating praise and catching employees doing something right Emphasizes individual vitality and growth Helping employees learn and grow in their jobs and careers

Limits of Positive Culture:


May not work for all organizations or everyone within them
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Creating An Ethical Organizational Culture


Managerial Practices Promoting an Ethical Culture
Being a visible role model. Communicating ethical expectations. Providing ethical training. Rewarding ethical acts and punishing unethical ones. Providing protective mechanisms.

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Creating a Customer-Responsive Culture


Key Variables Shaping Customer-Responsive Cultures
1. The types of employees hired by the organization. 2. Low formalization: the freedom to meet customer service requirements. 3. Empowering employees with decision-making discretion to please the customer. 4. Good listening skills to understand customer messages. 5. Role clarity that allows service employees to act as boundary spanners. 6. Employees who engage in organizational citizenship behaviors.
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How Organizational Cultures Have an Impact on Performance and Satisfaction

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